Alfalfa Weevils posed a serious problem for producers in the province last year, and now the insect is starting to be seen south of Steinbach.
“On Tuesday at the Provincial Hay and Silage Day in Steinbach, I was looking in the demo field near Fredensfeld, and there was a lot of damage to the upper canopy caused by the alfalfa weevil larva” said John McGregor MFGA Extension. There have been reports of the weevil in the Elm Creek area but levels there according to John Gavloski Provincial Entomologist have been low when he does his sweeps to monitor that area.
Research shows the insect can reduce the quality and hay yield by 50% with alfalfa being the main crop affected, and as a result, farmers should be diligent when monitoring their fields.
Control methods for the weevil include spraying or cutting. The alfalfa fields around the Steinbach area are for the most part at a stage where if you had alfalfa weevils in your crop cutting may be the best option. Producers waiting for first flower to start cutting or have alfalfa seed fields may need to re-access their situation.